Purdue Eliminates Chief Diversity Officer Position

July 15, 2015

Purdue University has eliminated the position of chief diversity officer and merged the duties into those of the provost, The Lafayette Journal & Courier reported. Many universities have created chief diversity officer positions in recent years to coordinate diversity activities and act as an advocate at the senior levels of the administration. Purdue officials said that the provost's office would be able to continue needed work in this area.

Benjamin D. Reese Jr., vice president for institutional equity at Duke University and president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, said via email that he couldn't comment on a specific college or university policy. However, he added: "I'm suspect when a role, as critical as the chief diversity officer, is merged with another senior executive role. It's like eliminating a chief financial officer and saying the president will now oversee university finances. With the diversity challenges our country, and higher education, are currently experiencing, it seems like a time when institutions most certainly should be looking to the chief diversity officer for guidance, not diluting the role."

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